The Electronic Entertainment Expo is the single biggest event in the video game industry, but since it began in 1995 it has been a show that has, with a few exceptions, not allowed members of the general public to attend. That will change, sort of, with E3 2015 in Los Angeles on June 16-18. Between 4,000 and 5,000 gaming fans will be allowed to attend the show at the LA Convention Center for the first time.
E3's owners, the Entertainment Software Association, made the decision to allow its industry members who are exhibiting at the show floor to invite what it calls "prosumers" to attend the event. That includes Microsoft, who will have one of the biggest exhibits at E3 2015, so it will have more invites to give out than nearly anyone.
ESA vice-president Rich Taylor told Polygon some of the reasons for this slight shift in policy for E3 2015:
"There's a number of factors," Taylor said. "There was a desire by a number of exhibitors and board members to connect with people directly. In this age of vast social media, having some of those voices in the hall to report their reaction and enthusiasm is seen as a big plus."
There are still no plans to sell tickets to E3 to the general public, although Taylor hints says the ESA will "evaluate how it went after this year's show."
Microsoft has already announced plans to give 500 local LA residents a chance to attend their E3 press briefing on June 15, along with an Xbox FanFest event. We wouldn't be surprised to learn that those people will be able to attend the actual E3 show itself, but so far that is not confirmed.